Lease Beat

Another Pret A Manger Comes to Bryant Park

1071 Avenue of the Americas.

Employees who work at the Bank of America Tower and around Bryant Park will soon have another lunch option; U.K. import Pret A Manger, the coffee and food-on-the-go spot that has popped up around Manhattan, has signed a deal at 4 Bryant Park.

In a new 15-year lease, the company will take 2,100 square feet on the ground level and 1,789 square feet in the basement at the property, which is also known as 1071 Avenue of the Americas. The building sits between West 40th and West 41st Streets. Read More

Lease Beat

Wall Manufacturer Joins the Observer at the Plant

321 West 44th Street (Photo: CoStar).

An architectural wall manufacturer and distributor is heading to The Plant at 321 West 44th Street, Commercial Observer has learned. Tag Wall will join the New York Observer and CO at the 228,268-square-foot Times Square office building owned by Jowa Holdings Co.

Tag Wall signed a 10-plus-year lease for 8,508 square feet on the second floor at the 10-story building, which is between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, according to JLL. The asking rents were in the high-$50s per square foot. Read More


SL Green Lends $97M to Ben Shaoul for LES Development

196 Orchard Street (Property Shark).

Ben Shaoul‘s Magnum Real Estate Group just closed on a $97 million loan from SL Green Realty Corp. to acquire and begin construction on a Lower East Side residential project, a representative for Magnum confirmed to Commercial Observer.

The planned building will hold 83 units and rise at 196 Orchard Street, in between Houston and Stanton streets, according to previous reports. The total purchase price for the assemblage of three adjacent properties was $75 million, the representative said.  Read More

Hotel Beat

Equinox Checks Into the Hotel Business at Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards

The popular, high-end fitness gym Equinox is venturing into the hotel business with its first location slated for the Hudson Yards.

Featured an amenity in several buildings for Related Companies, its parent company, the gym is gearing the Far West Side hotel toward exercise-hungry travelers and will feature indoor and outdoor swimming pools, according to the Wall Street Journal. The hotel’s gym, free to guests, will be 60,000 square feet, making it the largest Equinox facility. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

As Brooklyn continues to become the destination of choice for New York’s 56.4 million annual visitors, there has been unprecedented demand for hotel space in the borough. With 667 rooms, the 27-story New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is Kings County’s largest hotel. The Downtown Brooklyn chain, which sits at 333 Adams Street, opened in 1998 and doubled its size in a 2006 expansion. However, in order to remain competitive, its owners, Muss Development, Marriott International and Homefed Corporation, felt that it needed to be reconfigured.

“We needed to reposition it as the leader in Brooklyn,” said Jeff Kay, the chief operating officer of Muss Development, which built the property. “We consider ourselves at the center of Downtown Brooklyn.” Read More

Power Player

Gabe Marans is Savills Studley’s Young Weapon


Winemaker, angel investor and scholar of the Russian language, it wouldn’t be a stretch to label Gabe Marans as a Renaissance man. And now the 29-year-old—already a managing director at Savills Studley, one of the leading commercial real estate services firms in the country—can add “Most Promising Commercial Salesperson of the Year” to his list, an award bestowed on him by the Real Estate Board of New York earlier this month.

And while those quick-to-climb professional ranks tend to be either self-made or born into privilege, Mr. Marans inhabits space somewhere in between the two: raised in Teaneck, an affluent suburb of New Jersey, his father is a doctor and his mother is a lawyer in the retail leasing industry. But despite his good fortune, no one can deny that Mr. Marans has worked hard for what he has earned. Read More

Earth Day

Green Day: The City and Landlords are Going Green

Empire State Building is a test lab for the business case for sustainability (Photo: CoStar).

The word “green” means different things to different people. For many developers and building owners, it’s what fills their pockets. But if you’re an environmentalist, it means something else entirely. However, sustainability is now officially poised to affect everyone in real estate. Last September Mayor Bill de Blasio committed New York City to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. That means it’s time for the industry to reconsider their favorite color.

A major component of the mayor’s One City Built to Last plan is retrofitting every public building in the next 10 years for emissions reduction. Private buildings are in the mayor’s plan, too. The city hopes to catalyze the retrofitting of some 20,000 of them with its “retrofit accelerator” program, making up an estimated 15 percent of citywide built square footage. Two-thirds will be multifamily buildings, and roughly 40 percent will be government-assisted affordable or rent-stabilized buildings, if all goes according to plan. Read More

Tech Beat

Honest Buildings Launches Owner-Centric Software

Riggs Kubiak.

Real estate software producer Honest Buildings has a new platform to make managing construction costs and data on a particular project a whole lot easier for owners and project managers, the company announced today.

Honest Buildings for Owners, a subscription-based service that costs $200 to $600 per building per month depending on a building’s size, helps owners track the progress of a project including important dates, vendor information, received bids, costs and construction data, according to the real estate tech company. By doing all this, it said in a news release, it would help identify problems not just on a project but an entire portfolio. Read More

Lease Beat

Michelin-Recommended Wasan Opening Outpost in Park Slope

440 Bergen Street (Photo: Costar)

Locally sourced Japanese restaurant Wasan, which has had a location at 108 East 4th Street in the East Village since late 2010, is coming to Brooklyn, a broker in the deal told Commercial Observer.

Toshi Koizumi signed a lease with Signa Management for 1,100 square feet on the ground floor and 700 square feet in the basement at 440 Bergen Street at Fifth Avenue, according to Colby Swartz, a broker with Suzuki Capital. He represented the landlord along with colleague Dino Mouzakitis. Mr. Koizumi didn’t have a broker in the transaction. Read More

Lease Beat

Compass Takes Another Floor at 90 Fifth Avenue

90 Fifth Avenue (Photo: RFR).

Compass, the company behind the real estate home search app, has expanded its foot print at 90 Fifth Avenue between West 14th and West 15th Streets to 63,010 square feet in less than a year, Commercial Observer has learned.

The app developer, formerly billing itself as Urban Compass, inked a deal yesterday for an additional 12,602 square feet, or an entire floor, in the Midtown South building, according to landlord RFR. It now occupies the third through seventh floors of the 11-story property, which has recently been renovated and its infrastructure upgraded. Read More

The Lobby

Three Top Brokers From Eastern Consolidated Head to Meridian

David Schechtman.

David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman and Abie Kassin have left Eastern Consolidated for Meridian Capital Group, Commercial Observer has learned, launching a new investment sales division with Mr. Schechtman as a key principal.

The trio’s last day at Eastern Consolidated was yesterday, according to Daun Paris, the co-founder of Eastern Consolidated, who noted that while Mr. Schechtman “was an important part of the team,” Eastern Consolidated still retains “a deep bench of talent.” Read More

Lease Beat

Paperless Post Leaving Paper Trail With Expanded Downtown Digs

115 Broadway.

Paperless Post, which in 2013 took 15,000 square feet on part of the 18th floor at 115 Broadway using a $250,000 relocation bonus, is expanding its office space in the building to accommodate its growth, Commercial Observer has learned.

With the addition of the 19th floor, Paperless has approximately 36,000 square feet at the building, which is one of two landmarked office towers that are together called Trinity Centre (the other one is 113 Broadway), according to a spokeswoman for the technology company.​ The company expects to occupy the 19th floor in the first quarter of 2016.​ Read More

Lease Beat

Hair Club Finds New Spot Downtown

1 Exchange Plaza at 55 Broadway  (Photo: CoStar).

Hair Club for Men is growing its business as it expands its reach to 1 Exchange Plaza at 55 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, Commercial Observer has learned. It will be taking part of the 30th floor to provide hair restoration and hair replacement services to people Downtown.

“Downtown needs certain services and this hair club has a big business in Midtown and they want to expand,” said CBRE‘s Brad Gerla, who represented the landlord, private real estate investment firm Harbor Group International, in the deal. Read More